Live / Manchester United 1-1 Wolverhampton: Moutinho stunner sees Red Devils falter at home again

Joao Moutinho cancelled out Fred's first-half effort to secure Wolves a deserved share of the spoils at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Live / Manchester United 1-1 Wolverhampton: Moutinho stunner sees Red Devils falter at home again

Joao Moutinho cancelled out Fred's first-half effort to secure Wolves a deserved share of the spoils at Old Trafford on Saturday.

22 September 2018 Saturday 16:52
Live / Manchester United 1-1 Wolverhampton: Moutinho stunner sees Red Devils falter at home again

Manchester United dropped points for a second successive Premier League home match on Saturday, as they were held to a 1-1 draw by promoted Wolves.

Former manager Alex Ferguson was back at Old Trafford for the first time since his May health scare, but United failed to put on much of a show for him, instead producing a performance which surely would have resulted in the Scot's infamous "hairdryer" treatment.

Although United looked particularly off the pace early on and rode their luck, they broke the deadlock in the 18th minute, with Fred getting his first goal for the club.

Joao Moutinho scored Wolves' deserved equaliser with a fine finish early in the second half and, although United upped the pressure late on, they could not find a winner in 'Fergie time', as they slumped to another disappointing result.

Wolves looked vastly superior to their hosts in the early exchanges and forced David de Gea into two smart saves, as Raul Jimenez and Willy Boly threatened.

But United made the most of those let-offs and took the lead against the run of play 18 minutes in – Fred finding the bottom-left corner from 20 yards after Paul Pogba's clever disguised pass.

The Brazilian nearly got a second on the stroke of half-time, but his fine free-kick was tipped on to the post by Rui Patricio.

Wolves deservedly restored parity just after the interval, however, as Jimenez teed up Moutinho on the edge of the box and the midfielder found the top-left corner.

United huffed and puffed towards the end, with substitute Juan Mata offering a little more creativity than Alexis Sanchez, but Wolves held on, Nuno Espirito Santo successfully frustrating his "inspiration" Jose Mourinho.

What it means: Lukaku's supporting cast lacking craft

Romelu Lukaku endured a difficult outing on Saturday, with the supply to him generally poor.

Pogba looked the most likely to create chances for him, but otherwise United's attacking players were disappointing, with Sanchez and Jesse Lingard particularly ineffective.

But, to be fair to Sanchez and Lingard, neither would consider themselves to be natural wingers, yet Mourinho persists with them on the flanks.

Selfless Jimenez leads from the front

He may not have got on the scoresheet, but Jimenez made a real impact in attack for the visitors. His hold-up play was excellent, as shown when setting up Moutinho, he dropped deep to good effect and even his runs in behind troubled United. His former Benfica colleague Victor Lindelof had a difficult day.

Sanchez produces little spark once again

United's Chile forward certainly cannot be accused of not trying but his passing was sloppy and he made little impact in the final third. You have to wonder how long Mourinho will continue to play him out wide.

What's next?

After an EFL Cup date with Frank Lampard's Derby County on Tuesday, United's next Premier League outing sees them travel to West Ham. Wolves host Leicester City in the cup, before then welcoming Southampton to Molineux in the league.

90' + 2' Lukaku with an undisciplined play to stray needlessly offside as a ball is floated in over the top, moments after De Gea did well to kick aside a Traore strike at the other end. A bit of respite for Wolves, as the match moves into the final three minutes.

90' There will be five minutes added on at the end of this match - not what Wolves wanted to see. It's met by a roar of approval from these fans at Old Trafford.

88' Bennett crucially gets across in a flash to turn Fellaini aside and force a corner. The resulting delivery is flicked dangerously on by Coady, who is relieved to see it lift over the bar and crash onto the roof of the net! The ensuing delivery is dealt with much more soundly by the visitors, but they're looking fatigued.

87' Gibbs-White is on for the final minutes as the midfielder comes in to replace Jota.

86' Boly has picked up a bit of a knock following those hectic moments in defence, and Wolves have a sub ready for him, but he signals over to the bench that he's fine and wants to play on. This will allow Nuno to make the change he originally had planned.

84' It's the hosts who are showing a bit more intent here, with Wolves happier to settle for the draw despite how well they have played today. A dangerous free-kick for the hosts drops into the penalty area right in front of Lukaku, but Boly is quicker to react as he puts in a goal-saving challenge!

82' Manchester United have lost three of their last five Premier League games immediately following a Champions League match (W2).

80' Wolves' second change of the match sees Saiss come into midfield at the expense of Moutinho, in a like-for-like change.

77' GOOD EFFORT! Pogba lashes a venomous free-kick at goal from just over 25 yards, but Patricio has a clear sight of it the whole way and gets across to make the save and hold on.

75' With Rashford unavailable through suspension, United turn to their last attacking option off the bench as Pereira comes on at the expense of Lingard.

75' Adama Traore, who scored the winner off the bench in Wolves' last away match in West Ham, is on for the final 15 minutes here, replacing Costa.

73' Pushing back are United now, who don't look at all likelier to score at the moment. This looks as though it could go either way really at the moment, as it remains perfectly balanced and delicately poised. The hosts haven't had much success trying to break down this Wolves defence, however.

71' Manchester United are looking to avoid consecutive home defeats in the Premier League for the first time since March 2014, while Mourinho has never suffered back-to-back home league defeats in his managerial career.

69' Decent hit, that! The ball is knocked back to Ruben Neves in all sorts of space 25 yards out and he only has eyes for goal. The accuracy is good, but the power is lacking a bit, as De Gea is able to scramble across to make another save.

67' Speculative effort from Lingard, but a well-struck one in the end as Patricio can only knock his strike over the bar for a corner. The ensuing set-piece results in some good pressure, but the offside flag denies Lukaku a chance which he squandered anyhow.

65' Pressure stays on following a Wolves corner and Jota does well to dart inside from the left and drive a strike towards the near post, but it just lacks the desired power as De Gea is able to get across to make the save.

63' Martial will take up Sanchez's vacant space on the left, as he comes on for scorer Fred.

63' Two changes for United with just under 30 minutes left. Sanchez is replaced here by Mata, who will play down the right.

62' Pogba is hungry for goals following his brace in midweek, and he looks for another here with a thunderous strike from distance, but narrowly misses the far post from 30 yards.

61' Neves picks up a yellow card and that has been coming. He's committed quite a few fouls in this match, and this one to impede the run of Pogba rather cynically sees him into the book at last.

59' The tempo is back at Old Trafford as the two sides exchange attack after attack. Lukaku does well to find space on the right at one end, but his cross leaves plenty to be desired as it's lifted into the waiting arms of Patricio.

57' Wolves have a spring in their step, beaming with confidence as they look for more. Costa drives forward on a probing run and makes a small step over to open space for a shot against Lindelof, but he skies his effort!

55' It's game on at Old Trafford as Wolves are back on level terms, with Manchester United's Premier League unbeaten record when leading at half-time at Old Trafford under threat. Sanchez does well to win a free-kick as they look for a response, but it's dealt with soundly by the visitors.

53' Great vision and hold-up play from Jimenez to provide the assist there.

53' WOLVES HAVE THE GOAL THEY'VE DESERVED! 1-1! Parity restored at Old Trafford! Costa does an excellent job of guiding a pass into the centre for Jimenez, while off balance, and the striker lays it off unselfishly for Moutinho who hammers a first-time finish into the top corner from 15 yards for his first Wolves goal!

53' Goal João Filipe Iria Santos Moutinho

52' Manchester United are unbeaten in all 271 Premier League matches in which they were leading at half-time.

50' Excellent defensive work! Jimenez swings a delicious ball in from the right for Jonny, who is all alone on the edge of the penalty area, but in the blink of an eye Valencia is back with cover and snuffs out the chance brilliantly!

48' The second half begins with Manchester United on the front foot, but they're held admirably in check by this stingy Wolves defence. Chances could prove hard to come by for them in this second half, but eventually the visitors will have to press on.

46' Back underway at Old Trafford! No changes to either side at the break.

David De Gea has made some big saves at the other end as well, with Wolves looking particularly lively on the break, suggesting this one is far from over just yet.

Fred's first Manchester United goal has them leading through 45 minutes, and on course for a fourth successive win across all competition. He nearly doubled his account, and the Red Devils' lead, with a mesmerising free-kick just before the break, but Rui Patricio's wonderful effort has kept Wolves within touching distance.


45' + 2' STUNNING HIT! An absolutely superb effort from Fred looks destined for the top corner, but Patricio matches the effort with an extraordinary stop to somehow keep the midfielder from doubling his account!

45' + 1' We will have a bit more than the one minute added on as just before time is about to expire, Sanchez is fouled on the top edge of the penalty area. Better chance for United here...

45' Sanchez gets some looks from his team-mates as he lashes a dreadful free-kick miles high and wide of the goal. That's a wasted opportunity for the hosts. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates there will be one minute added on at the end of this match.

44' Delightful from Pogba as his ball over the top picks out the run of Shaw, and it results in a free-kick on the left edge of the penalty area as a handball from Jimenez, albeit a bit of a harsh one, doesn't go unpenalised by the referee.

42' Manchester United have seen Marcus Rashford (vs Burnley) and Nemanja Matic (vs Watford) sent off in their last two Premier League games – they’ve never had a player sent off in three consecutive Premier League matches before.

40' Moments later and the pressure is on again, with Shaw conceding a free-kick and seeing yellow for a cynical foul to stop a threatening break.

40' HAD TO BE BETTER! That's the sort of interplay that will get Wolves back on level terms. Some very instinctive one-touch football sees them carve open a big chunk of space, but Costa's little dink over the top for Doherty is overhit as the ball runs behind for a goal-kick.

40' Yellow card Luke Shaw

38' Under a relentless high press from United, Wolves do an excellent job of passing their way out of a tight spot in defence. They slow a bit in transition, however, as some negative build-up allows the hosts to get their shape back. Wolves really do look more comfortable on the counter.

36' Fred has been excellent at both ends for United. When Wolves do break, the midfielder has provided some excellent defensive support, doing so once again here to thwart the run of Jota. He will grab the headlines for his goal, but his defensive play should not be overlooked.

34' Following a tidy bit of interplay in the attacking third from United, Wolves break threateningly with Costa sent on a chase down the right. Shaw shows incredible closing speed, however, catching and passing the attacker as he's able to knock the ball away and snuff out the threat.

32' Manchester United have lost just one of their last 49 Premier League home games against promoted sides (W42 D6), a 1-2 defeat against Norwich City in December 2015.

30' United know they very much have a game on their hands here. They've been unable to commit too many bodies forward due to the threat posed by Wolves on the break. A few decent attacks for the visitors put Smalling and company to work, but the United defence does well to deal with it, as they each result in goal-kicks.

28' Wolves have soaked up the pressure quite well, denying United even half a look at goal despite a long period of possession. The visitors are looking quite confident still, despite being a goal behind. They certainly look capable of having their say in this one still.

26' The other thing that's happened since Fred's goal is the tempo has dropped off in a big way. United have no qualms taking a patient approach, which Wolves are starting to play a bit more cautious. The combination of the two has seen the pace drop off quite a bit.

24' That opening goal has really helped to settle United, who are camped out in the attacking half now. Wolves are starting to drop a bit deeper, seeing less of the ball as that early threat is quickly fading.

22' That is really quite harsh on Wolves, who had made an excellent start to the match and looked altogether untroubled in defence. But with the quality in United's side, the visitors can't afford even a slight dip in focus, because that's what can happen.

20' Wolves have won their last two Premier League games, both by a 1-0 scoreline. They’ve not won three in a row in the top-flight since March 1980.

18' An incredibly smart and deft touch from Pogba made that all possible, as the World Cup winner provides the assist.

18' AGAINST THE RUN OF PLAY, UNITED TAKE THE LEAD! 1-0! It's certainly come against the run of play, but Mourinho won't care one bit as Fred scores his first goal with the club, swiveling expertly to drive a low finish into the bottom corner! That was a delicious touch from Pogba to tee him up.

14' Everyone's attention draws to Boly as the corner comes in, which allows Bennett time and space to meet the delivery. Pogba doesn't do well enough in marking him, giving the centre-half what is essentially a free header, but he snatches at the gift of a chance, lifting over the bar. 

13' Shaw whiffs at a clearance attempt on the flank allowing Jimenez, who has been very active up top, to run in behind and whip in a cross, but Smalling does well to get across with cover, knocking the ball behind for a corner.

11' It's been a real struggle for the hosts to try and create much through the opening 10 minutes, as they've yet to ask Rui Patricio to play a part. This is a Wolves side that have kept three successive clean sheets across all competitions, while conceding just once against Manchester City. They sure know how to defend.

9' Manchester United have won their last six league games against Wolves at Old Trafford, including all four in the Premier League – one of six sides they have played against on at least four occasions at home in the competition while retaining a 100 per cent record.

7' TERRIFIC STOP! That's an excellent piece of goalkeeping from De Gea, who reacts superbly to kick a leg out and deny Jimenez's powerful low strike from 10 yards! Another well-worked move from the visitors, who look a real threat early on.

5' Another threatening Wolves attack proves a warning for the hosts, as Jimenez volleys wide. But United transition with excellent pace as they win their first corner of the match. Wolves deal with it, but the pressure is staying on here.

3' A positive start is made by Wolves, who win a corner inside the first 30 seconds. United deal with the threat well, however, and are now settled into possession as they look to adopt a bit of rhythm into their approach.

1' AND THEY'RE OFF! Wolves are in white as they get the match underway, with Manchester United in red tops and black shorts.

Santo names the same starting XI for the sixth successive Premier League match. Jimenez scored the lone goal in the win over Burnley and leads the line again, while Traore, who scored the winner at West Ham off the bench, again sees his name among the substitutes.

Mourinho makes four changes from Wednesday's Champions League victory at Young Boys. Lingard and Valencia return to the side after being rested in midweek, taking the place of Diogo Dalot and Martial. Rashford and Matic miss out through suspension, and are replaced in the side by Fellaini and Sanchez.


Man Utd v Wolverhampton 

Man Utd: De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw, Pogba, Fellaini, Fred, Lingard, Lukaku, Sanchez. Subs: Bailly, Mata, Martial, Andreas Pereira, Young, Romero, McTominay. 

Wolverhampton: Rui Patricio, Bennett, Coady, Boly, Doherty, Joao Moutinho, Neves, Jonny, Helder Costa, Jota, Jimenez. Subs: Gibbs-White, John Ruddy, Saiss, Ruben Vinagre, Hause, Leo Bonatini, Traore. 

Referee: Kevin Friend.

Updated: 22.09.2018 19:57
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